One of the Beltway’s best-known pundits gave credence this week to perhaps the fringiest of all Obamacare conspiracy theories.
In an interview on Monday with the conservative Newsmax, Time’s Mark Halperin said that so-called “death panels” are enshrined in the Affordable Care Act.
“It’s going to be a huge issue,” Halperin said. “And that’s something else about which the President was not fully forthcoming or straight-forward.”
“So, you believe there will be rationing, a.k.a ‘death panels’?” host Steve Malzberg asked Halperin, the co-author of the 2012 election chronicle “Double Down.”
“It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled,” Halperin said before arguing that it’s necessary to ration care.
The death panel meme was given oxygen by Sarah Palin, who said in September that she was right about the conspiracy theory. In fact, the Affordable Care Act does not include death panels.
The law explicitly prohibits the Independent Payment Advisory Board — which aims to control costs — from rationing health care.
Listen to Halperin’s interview. The exchange about death panels comes around the eight-minute mark.
Update: Halperin clarified on Tuesday that he doesn’t believe the Affordable Care Act contains death panels.